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European Super League: How would the Premier League have looked over the past 10 years without the "Big Six"?

European Super League
(Image credit: PA Images)

The European Super League, if it does indeed go ahead, will deny the Premier League Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea

The traditional "Big Six" are the usual contenders for the Premier League title - bar the odd exception - and tend to finish in the European places. Without them, the league would begin to resemble the Wild West, with the clutch of teams that usually finish below them suddenly thrust into the spotlight.

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We've gone back over the past 10 seasons to show you how things would have looked if the "Big Six" had made this decision in 2011.

2020/21 (current season)

1. Leicester City (56 points)
2. West Ham (55)
3. Everton (49)
4. Leeds United (45)
5. Aston Villa (44)
6. Wolves (41)

With the two Manchester clubs out of the way, Leicester and West Ham are scrapping it out in a nail-biting sprint to the finish line. Carlo Ancelotti will be kicking himself not to be closer to the two new powerhouses of English football, given the talent he has to select from. 

Leeds United sneak into the Champions league places thanks to the 14 goals of Premier League leading goalscorer Patrick Bamford, who no longer has Harry Kane, Mo Salah, Bruno Fernandes and Son-Heung Min ahead of him. Villa and Wolves assure Birmingham's presence in the Europa League next season.


1. Leicester City (62)
2. Wolves (59)
3. Sheffield United (54)
4. Burnley (54)
5. Southampton (52)
6. Everton (49)

Leicester take the title but the real winners, in FFT's opinion, are newly promoted Sheffield United making the Champions League. Europe's greatest tacticians will be relishing facing Chris Wilder's overlapping centre-backs but quite how they'll handle Sean Dyche's Burnley is anyone's guess. 

There's no change in the top-scorer charts, with Jamie Vardy having pipped Pierre-Emerick Aubamyang to the golden boot for real last season. 


1. Wolves (57)
2. Everton (54)
3. Leicester (52)
4. West Ham (52)
5. Watford (50)
6. Crystal Palace (49)

This was most recent season in which the top six actually contained all of the "Big Six", with Manchester City pipping Liverpool to the title by a point. 

But with all those money-grabbers in the bin, it's newly promoted Wolves that seal the title at the first time of asking. Nuno Espirito Santo hails his side "the Kaiserslautern of the 21st Century" at the title ceremony. The reference goes over everybody's heads except Roy Hodgson's, who's already looking up plush hotels in Sweden and Finland ahead of a pre-season which may involve fishing and building campfires. 

Jamie Vardy takes the golden boot with 18 strikes, with Bournemouth's Callum Wilson in second, with 14. 


50 best managers

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1. Burnley (54)
2. Everton (49)
3. Leicester (47)
4. Newcastle United (44)
5. Crystal Palace (44)
6. Bournemouth (44)

A statue of Sean Dyche riding a horse is unveiled in Burnley city centre after the gravel-throated gaffer guides the Clarets to Premier League glory. It wasn't pretty, and it wouldn't have been possible without the entire top six being absent, but it was proper football. 

Newcastle United qualify for the Champions League under super-cautious Rafa Benitez. They reach the final of next year's contest too, when a three-nil deficit against Italy's most feared team, Sampdoria, is overturned thanks to a masterclass from the talismanic Jonjo Shelvey. 

Palace qualify for Europe under Roy Hodgson, who steadied the ship admirably after the disastrous start to the campaign under previous boss Frank De Boer. 

The golden boot is won by... you guessed it: Jamie Vardy, with 20 goals. 


1. Everton (61)
2. Southampton (46)
3. Bournemouth (46)
4. West Brom (45)
5. West Ham (45)
6. Leicester (44)

Ronald Koeman guides an Everton that would otherwise have finished seventh to the Premier League title, with Romelu Lukaku scoring 25 goals to seal the golden boot (he was actually second behind Kane that season). Claude Puel's Southampton come second. The Frenchman still gets sacked for playing dreary football though, as it was never about the league finish. 

The major news is Tony Pulis' West Brom qualifying for Europe. He buys a new baseball cap to celebrate and spends the change on a 7ft centre-back. 


1. Leicester City (81)
2. Southampton (63)
3. West Ham (62)
4. Stoke City (51)
5. Everton (47)
6. Swansea (47)

No change from reality at the top of the table, with Leicester City's miraculous Premier League triumph sealed even with the money-grubbers in attendance. Southampton jump from sixth to second while Stoke, who actually finished 9th - sandwiched between Liverpool and Chelsea - make it to the Champions League. 

Swansea City, who finished 12th under Francesco Guidolin (us neither!) glide into Europe. Jamie Vardy, of course, finishes top scorer with 24. He actually finished one shy of Kane that year.


European Super League

(Image credit: PA Images)

1. Southampton (60)
2. Swansea City (56)
3. Stoke City (54)
4. Crystal Palace (48)
5. Everton (47)
6. West Ham (47)

With Jose Mourinho's Chelsea, and the rest of the "Big Six" out of the way, Koeman's Southampton jump up to the winner's podium. Garry Monk, Mark Hughes and Alan Pardew prepare for Champions League football. The latter gets a sunbed in and reveals he has a new dance planned for the anthem ahead of matches. 

West Ham make the Europa League, much to Big Sam's chagrin. "I've never even heard of some of these places," he spits ahead of the first round of fixtures. "Where the bloody hell is Copenhagen?"

Charlie Austin, of QPR, takes the golden boot, with 18 strikes, despite his team finishing bottom of the league. 


1. Everton (72)
2. Southampton (56)
3. Stoke City (50)
4. Newcastle United (49)
5. Crystal Palace (45)
6. Swansea (42)

Fresh off the back of his FA Cup win with Wigan Athletic, Roberto Martinez arrives at Everton to win the Premier League title. They actually finished fifth that season, ahead of Spurs and a Fergie-less Manchester United. 

But with the big dogs out of the way, Southampton, Stoke and Newcastle make the Champions League. Toon boss Alan Pardew doesn't feel confident enough yet as a dancer and so defers for a season and takes over Crystal Palace. 

It's pretty incredible, in FFT's opinion, how consistent Swansea were over this Premier League period. Wilfred Bony's 16 goals helps the Swans sneak into the Europa League. 


Alex Ferguson, David Moyes

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1. Everton (63)
2. West Brom (49)
3. Swansea City (46)
4. West Ham (46)
5. Norwich City (44)
6. Fulham (43)

In what would be David Moyes' final season at Everton (before the ill-fated switch to European Super League side Manchester-whatever-their-name-was), he wins the title - the club actually finished sixth, one place ahead of Liverpool. A single tear of joy washes out of one Moyes' icy blue eye and rolls gently down a pale cheek. 

Speaking of deeply emotional Scotsmen, Steve Clarke's West Brom make the Champions League, aided by 17-goal loanee Romelu Lukaku. He's not top scorer though - that achievement belongs to Aston Villa's Christian Benteke, who finishes one ahead of Swansea's Michu, on 19. 

These were strange times indeed. 


1. Newcastle United (56)
2. Everton (56)
3. Fulham (52)
4. West Brom (47)
5. Swansea (47)
6. Norwich (47)

It's the very first season without the "Big Six". A campaign which, in reality, ended with Martin Tyler advising us to "DRINK IT IN!" never actually gets that famous Sergio Aguero moment. 

Instead of the two Manchester clubs finishing on 89 points, separated only by goal difference, we get Alan Pardew thrusting his boney arse around on a confetti-covered platform. He's jumped from fifth to first and claims "banter played a huge role in this historic season. We couldn't have done this unless I was a friend to my players first and a manager second."

Martin Jol leads Fulham to the Champions League and Norwich City squeeze into Europe. Clint Dempsey of Fulham and Yakubu of Blackburn finish joint top scorers. 

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